Valerie J. Hanna
Occupation:Marsh & McLennan | Senior Vice President for TechnologyBiography:
Just 10 minutes before the first plane struck the World Trade Center, Valerie Joan Hanna called Glenn Hughes, her husband of 29 years, to remind him "to take care of the animals," he recalls. That would be Ramses the goat, Quito the llama and the flock of assorted ducks, chickens and turkeys they had been assembling on their 23-acre farm in Dryden, N.Y., near Ithaca.
The couple moved there from Brooklyn two years ago because "she couldn't take the city anymore," he said. She remembered growing up at her family's farm upstate, and, at 57, dreamed of retiring to the region.
And so, Ms. Hanna had kept her job at Marsh & McLennan, where she was a senior vice president for information technology, while she looked for comparable work in Ithaca. Each weekend she returned to the farm, the animals, the vegetables and the herb garden. The phone call to look after the animals was the last her husband heard from her. The farm "isn't for the both of us anymore," Mr. Hughes said. "I don't know what to do. Life doesn't make any sense."